Black Friday is over for another year and figures relating to the shopping extravaganza are starting to come in.
Air fryers, instant pots, and hoverboards were the top sellers in tech in the U.S. during Black Friday, according to data shared by Adobe Analytics, while the following day saw big sales of Apple’s AirPods and iPads, as well as Meta Quest 2 (formerly Oculus Quest 2) VR headsets and televisions made by Samsung, TCL, and Vizio.
Despite the usual buzz surrounding the famous shopping event, this year’s Black Friday saw the first year-on-year drop in online spending among U.S. shoppers, Adobe said.
Still, at $8.9 billion, Friday’s online spending wasn’t far off last year’s, which came in at $9 billion, though that figure marked an increase of 21.6% from Black Friday 2019 when online sales reached $7.4 billion.
The reason for the fall in spending? Adobe suggests it’s down to increased planning by deal-hunting shoppers, with many dropping cash on bargains spotted as far back as October.
“For the first time ever, Black Friday saw a reversal of the growth trend of past years,” commented Vivek Pandya, lead analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. “Shoppers are being strategic in their gift shopping, buying much earlier in the season and being flexible about when they shop to make sure they get the best deals.”
It appears that a higher-than-usual number of “out of stock” notices could also have dampened spending.
Adobe said the notices were a prominent issue on Black Friday, with the frustrating message most commonly seen with electronics, housekeeping supplies, and home and garden products.
“Out-of-stock messages are up 124% in the month of November (up to November 26) vs. pre-pandemic levels (January 2020),” Adobe said. For electronics at least, this can be attributed to the global chip shortage and also a slew of pandemic-related issues impacting the shipping industry, which has resulted in a large number of goods piling up at ports.
Despite Friday’s drop in online spending, Adobe noted that Cyber Week, including Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, are still by far the strongest online sales days of the season.
Adobe forecast that Cyber Monday will turn out to be the biggest online shopping day of 2021, suggesting customers could drop between $10.2 billion and $11.3 billion on a range of products.
Adobe compiled its data by analyzing direct customer transactions online that included more than one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites across 18 product categories.
Interested in finding the best tech bargains for Cyber Monday? Digital Trends has you covered.